Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
Kirkland's four winning City Council candidates were our special guests. Amy Walen mentioned that annexation is right on the border of getting the required 60%. If it fails the council could vote it in. In that case, the annexation area would not be bound by Kirkland's existing indebtedness.
Joan McBride talked about the upcoming issues before the council. Dave Ramsay, who Joan described as the best in Washington, is retiring and Kirkland will need a new City Manager. Joan mentioned the contentious Council meetings of the past few years. She suggested that the City adopt a code of ethics and a code of conduct for council members
Joan talked about economic development. She would like to convene a formal meeting of developers to help create a plan for the revitalization of Totem Lake.
Doreen Marchione, who has been mayor of Redmond and CEO of Hopelink in past years, hopes to use her experience to reduce divisiveness within the City Council and to find solutions to the tough challenges facing Kirkland.
Penny Sweet thinks that the power of community can help Kirkland attain its goals. Penny mentioned the volunteerism that she has organized for the 4th of July Celebration and downtown holiday decorations and how we can accomplish a lot by working together and ending divisiveness between business and neighborhoods.
All four new Councilmembers spoke in favor of annexation.
Rick Chesmore of Chesmore/Buck Architects was our next guest. Rick described the Hector's Property remodel and expansion that is currently underway. Originally proposed as a five story office building, the location will now undergo a three phase project. The existing "Waterfront Market" building is being reconfigured. Existing businesses Thin Pan and Ben and Jerry's will reopen in the new space, and new tenants will fill other spaces. This phase of the project is underway and should be finished in March. Phase two will entail the existing Hector's building, which will remain. The building just south, former home of World Wraps, will be demolished and a new building will replace it. A rooftop restaurant is also part of the project. This phase is scheduled to start in early 2010. Rick sent us some images showing the project, which you can view here. Phase three of this project has not been designed yet, but could entail an office building behind Hector's.
Margit Moore of the Kirkland Cultural Council was next. The Council has completed it's 20/20 Strategic Plan, which outlines several goals for 2010 to 2020. In order to increase an arts presence in downtown Kirkland, one long-term goal is to provide low income artist live/work space with galleries on the ground floor, such as those provided by other US cities.
On 10-27-09, Mayor Jim Lauinger, Director of Kirkland Human Services, Sharon Anderson, Kirkland Human Services Assistant, Carrie Hite, Cascadia Community College ELL Programs Director, Gail Miulli, and Moss Bay resident, Margit Moore met to discuss potential free adult English Language Learners (ELL) classes in downtown Kirkland. Mayor Lauinger will meet with Lake Washington School District staff to further discuss the proposed project. It is hoped that classes could begin in September 2010.
Bea Nahon, Moss Bay's representative to KAN, gave an update on that group's activities. The City will be holding its annual sessions of "Neighborhood U" on December 8 and December 9, at 7PM at City Hall. These sessions are a great - and free - opportunity for citizens to learn more about how things work in the City of Kirkland. This year's agenda will include issues regarding Neighboorhood Plans, the Comprehensive Plan and other related issues. The City will be sending out a notice with more information (would you want to send out a notice to MBNA residents, or put it on our website or ?). In the meantime, you can find more information at http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/CMO/Neighborhood_Services/KAN.htm
Our next meeting will be Jan 18, 2009 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.